6.21.2005

Voice of America... Not So American Anymore?

Nothing is safe

Labor leaders and activists have denounced the business community for years for "outsourcing" work to other countries. Now the federal government is planning to shift a handful of highly symbolic jobs overseas, and labor unions and lawmakers are protesting angrily.

The Voice of America recently decided to move part of its late night news operation to Hong Kong, possibly hiring foreign workers. That has caught the attention of the Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who are joining labor groups in urging the news service to keep the positions inside U.S. borders.

[snip]

VOA has a budget of almost $160 million and employs more than 1,400 workers. Some of them work overseas, but they are either U.S. citizens or freelance workers hired by regional VOA bureaus. The service has never before moved an entire news shift overseas, and critics are afraid it won't be the last.

Some, including the senators who signed the letter, hold that VOA's function as a mouthpiece for American values precludes it from contracting out writing work to non-citizens.

"We find it difficult to believe VOA will be able to satisfy its mission of projecting 'significant American thought' through non-American citizens," the letter said.
It's the little things isn't it? Whatever this is... it isn't a good sign.

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